Don’t let the moss grow on you: stay active with this fun project to design your own moss garden, and learn about nature in the process!
What You Do:
- Tell your child that she will get to make her own Moss Garden Terrarium. Explain that a “terrarium” is a miniature landscape with living plants. Moss is a living land plant, even when it is transplanted from sidewalks, yards, or trees!
- Put a thin layer of potting soil in the bottom of a shallow tray. (The tray should not have any hole in the bottom of it.)
- Go outside on a moss hunt! You and your child can look on lawns, walls, in sidewalk cracks, on stones, on tree bark, and porch steps. Have her dig up small pieces of moss and bring the moss back to her tray.
- Let her artfully arrange the moss in the tray on top of the dirt. As part of her terrarium landscape display, she can also place in some shells, stones, sticks, leaves, or bark to make a garden design she likes.
- Optional: She can also decorate her garden with plastic figurines such as turtles, ladybugs, butterflies, frogs, or other animals that might be found in a garden.
- Have her spray the moss everyday with her spray water bottle and observe if the mosses continue growing; they probably will due to the dirt, water, and air still being provided for their growth! Your child may want to measure and chart the moss growth.
Did You Know? Moss has been around since about 290 – 248 million years ago! Moss is usually found in moist, shady locations.
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.